Buffalo Bills vs. Oakland Raiders
The Buffalo Bills return home from a successful road opener as they host the Oakland Raiders. The Bills are -3.5 favorites over the Raiders with an over/under point total set at 41.
While it wasn’t overly surprising that the Buffalo Bills upset the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in week one, it was surprising that they absolutely blew them out of the building. Chan Gailey has been a successful coach everywhere he has been and he looks to at the very least have the Bills headed in the right direction. While many have criticized Buffalo’s QB situation Ryan Fitzpatrick looks composed under center completing 17 passes for a modest 208 yards but four of them going for touchdowns. On the receiving end of Fitzpatrick’s passes was Steve Johnson who caught four passes for 66 yards and a touchdown and Scott Chandler who caught five passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns. Fred Jackson looks to be motivated carrying the football rushing for 112 yards on 20 carries and C.J. Spiller scored on a nine yard run late in the game. The Bills’ defense made a statement shutting down the Chiefs and holding them to just 213 yards of offense and just one touchdown. Bryan Scott had a big day making eight tackles including a sack and Jairus Byrd and George Wilson had five tackles each and Spencer Johnson added a sack. Buffalo won the turnover battle with their only turnover coming on a throw by Brad Smith and they are going to need to continue to do that as the season goes on but thus far ti looks promising.
The Oakland Raiders came close to making the playoffs a year ago and after the Hue Jackson era kicked off with a win on the road, they have to be thinking they have what it takes to get over the hump. The Raiders avoided the mistakes that have been their undoing in the past to get a big Monday Night win in Denver but we will need to see what effects the short week and back to back road games has on them. QB Jason Campbell was very ordinary in the opener completing barely 50 percent of his passes but he avoided the turnovers and had a TD pass and his performance was good enough to get the team the win, all that really matters in the end. Darrius Heyward-Bey caught four passes and he looked markedly improved over what we have seen in the past from him and Marcel Reese had three catches including a touchdown while the Raiders tried to get the ball to Jacoby Ford in multiple creative ways and this is something they will continue to figure out what is most effective as the season goes on. The ground game was the star of the show as Darren McFadden rushed for 150 yards on 22 carries while Michel Bush gained 30 yards on nine carries. The Raiders’ defense shut down the Denver running game allowing just 38 yards on the ground and while Denver was able to throw the ball, it was mostly a product of the Raiders’ defense putting the Broncos in a hole and a situation where they had no other options. Richard Seymour had two sacks and Matt Shaughnessy and Tommy Kelly each had a sack and Chirs Johnson, Quentin Groves, and Tyvon Branch all led the defense with five tackles each. This was a strong showing in a road rivalry game for the Silver and Black and it will be interesting to see if they get it done two weeks in a row.
Buffalo is 7-2 against the spread in their last nine games against AFC teams, 8-3-1 against the spread in their last 12 games overall, and 4-9 against the spread in their last 13 games following a straight up win. Oakland is 6-2 against the spread in their last eight road games, 4-9 against the spread following a straight up win, and 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 games overall. The road team has covered in four of the last five meetings of these two.
While we saw impressive running games and QB’s who didn’t make mistakes in the passing game, we saw two defenses who stood tall. While I was impressed with the Bills, I wasn’t any less impressed by the Raiders who have a short week and another road game, factors that are never much of a recipe for success. I see the defenses ruling the day here and it isn’t going to take a lot of points to get the win as this one stays under the total.